Why Am I Not Losing Weight on the Carnivore Diet? 5 Common Culprits (2024)

Picture this: you've started the carnivore diet because you're ready to transform your health once and for all. You've read our article on what is allowed on the carnivore diet and you've grabbed some of our carnivore crisps to help keep cravings at bay while meeting your dietary goals.

And yet, you see no difference in the mirror or on the scale. What gives? Why am I not losing weight on the carnivore diet?

There are five potential causes you haven't seen the weight loss and body composition changes you were hoping for. It could be as simple as time - you haven't been on the diet long enough. Or, maybe you're still in caloric surplus despite eating the right foods. It could even be that you're not drinking enough water, you're constipated from the new diet, you're stressed out - or some other unrelated cause.

Whatever the case, we're here to help you determine once and for all why you're not losing weight on the carnivore diet despite eating the right foods. Before we get into the five common culprits for this frustrating occurrence, let's address a common question we get asked: can you lose weight on the carnivore diet in the first place?

Can You Lose Weight on the Carnivore Diet?

Yes - you can absolutely lose weight on the carnivore diet. In fact, when done correctly, you'll watch the weight fall off effortlessly! This is just one of the many benefits of the carnivore diet. There are a few reasons the carnivore diet works so well for weight loss.

First and foremost, you're eliminating just about all sources of carbs. Your diet is primarily made up of animal products. That means meat, of course, but occasionally you'll eggs, approved types of dairy, and other animal-based products. All of these sources are high in protein and fat, and low in carbs. Or, in the case of eggs and meat - zero carbs!

By eliminating carbs, you're forcing your body to use fat as its primary energy source. This process is called ketosis and it's why the carnivore diet works so well for weight loss. With that said, keto is an entirely separate diet. We have an article addressing the key differences between keto vs carnivore.

The elimination of carbs isn't the only reason you lose weight on the carnivore diet, though. You also end up eating less food to feel full. That's because protein encourages greater satiety (the feeling of fullness) compared to fats and carbs.

And to top it all off, a high protein diet - like a carnivore diet - increases your metabolism. This turns your body into a fat-burning powerhouse, essentially burning calories while you rest.

Knowing all this, it can be incredibly frustrating to star the carnivore diet to lose weight only to see yourself in the same place you started. Don't worry - it's probably one of the five things below holding you back from your goals.

Why Am I Not Losing Weight on the Carnivore Diet?

So, why am I not losing weight on the carnivore diet? We're going to help you make the necessary changes to your diet or lifestyle so you can open the floodgates to weight loss. First, let's rule out the possibility that it's just too early to see results.

It's Too Early

How long have you been on the carnivore diet? It's important to remember that progress doesn't happen overnight, and it can take your body some time to adjust. There are even some instances where, at first, you'll gain weight on the carnivore diet. Don't sweat it - this is just your body reacting to a major lifestyle change. With that said, how long to lose weight on the carnivore diet should you expect to wait?

this obviously varies from person to person - your starting body fat percentage, your metabolism, your activity level, and your diet all influence how quickly you see results. For some, you'll see noticeable changes in the mirror and on the scale after 2-4 weeks. For others, it can take beyond a month.

We encourage you to give the diet a full 3 months before making any judgments as to how it's working. Think about how long you've not been on the carnivore diet - that's a lot of poor eating over the years you are undoing.

One piece of advice we have for you to help stay focused and committed through these early stages is to take progress pictures. Get a sense of where you're starting from, and retake the exact same picture (angle, lighting, etc.) every week at the same time. You will notice that comparing week 1 to week 4 shows some noticeable changes. Comparing week 1 to week 8 is even more astounding. Eventually, you'll look back and barely recognize the person in that first picture!

Excess Caloric Intake

If you've been on the diet for a month or so and haven't seen any sort of movement on the scale or in the mirror, it could be that you're eating too many calories. The fact of the matter is, even the healthiest foods - in excess - can contribute to weight gain, or at the very least, restrict weight loss.

So - figure out how many calories you burn on a daily basis. You can use an app for this or take things more seriously and get tested professionally. By knowing this maintenance level caloric intake, you can then start tracking your calories. The goal is to get into a caloric deficit, which is where your body burns more calories than you consume. To compensate for the lack of calories and still have energy, your body will be forced to burn fat stores instead. This is how weight loss occurs.

All of this is to say you should be in a 100-200 calorie deficit for slow, steady weight loss. If you want to speed things up, go for a 500-calorie deficit - but just know that more isn't always better. If you starve yourself you'll pay for it in the long run. the goal is to achieve sustainable, healthy weight loss - and a slight caloric deficit is perfect for this.

In addition to cutting a chunk of calories out of your daily meals, you can get in a caloric deficit another way...

Lack of Physical Activity

If you aren't exercising at least 3 times a week, it's no wonder you're not losing weight! Trying to maintain a caloric deficit through dieting alone is tough - which is why burning more calories throughout the day is so important.

You don't have to do anything crazy like join a Crossfit gym or start training for a marathon. Increasing your physical activity can be as simple as a morning or evening walk around the neighborhood. Or, consider ramping things up by biking or jogging. Try to find activities you enjoy doing so you stick to the habit.

Along with burning calories through cardio workouts, it's worthwhile to make strength training a part of your regimen, too. We know what you're thinking..."I'm trying to lose weight, not bulk up!". Hear us out, though.

When you build lean muscle mass, your metabolism naturally increases - and you burn more calories at rest. This means that by lifting weights or doing other forms of resistance training you can make your weight loss goals more attainable!

Inadequate Water Intake

The last two points we made are in relation to getting in (and staying in) a caloric deficit. Most of the time, this is what's holding people back from losing weight through the carnivore diet. They assume that because the diet consists of eating healthier foods, it's a magic bullet to weight loss - but you know now that's not the case.

However, if you know for a fact you're in a caloric deficit and still not losing weight on the carnivore diet, it could be that your water intake is inadequate. There is an important relationship between hydration and weight loss.

Water plays a pivotal role in helping your body get rid of toxins and fat stores, so if you're not drinking enough water, your body won't be able to function optimally when it comes to weight loss.

It goes without saying that to get the most out of the carnivore diet (and any other diet) you should drink more than 8 glasses of water each day. Shoot for 10-12 and watch the pounds come off in no time!

You're Already at a Low Body Fat Percentage

The final reason you're not seeing weight loss on the carnivore diet could be that you're already at a low body fat percentage. There's an interesting correlation between how much body fat you have and how quickly you can burn it off. When an obese person starts making changes to their lifestyle, they see a lot of results early on. But as they make more and more progress, continued progress becomes increasingly difficult.

All of this is to say that if you're currently at 5% body fat, getting down to 4% is going to be a serious challenge. And at a certain point, you need to question if your goals are healthy or attainable. If you're preparing for a bodybuilding or physique show that's one thing - but getting to a single-digit body fat percentage might not be the right goal for everyone.

Your genetics and lifestyle influence what body fat percentage is optimal for you - and at a certain point, you'll hit a wall and reach your genetic potential.

Other Potential Reasons You're Not Losing Weight on the Carnivore Diet

The reasons above are the most common for why one may not lose weight on the carnivore diet. However, weight loss is a fickle thing - and there could be any number of underlying issues holding you back. One common example of this is stress.

If you have been under a lot of stress lately, it can cause an increase in cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Elevated cortisol has been linked to weight gain and cardiovascular disease. You need to find ways to keep your stress levels in check if you want any kind of successful weight loss journey.

Another issue could be a more serious underlying problem - like a hormonal imbalance. This could be why you're not seeing weight loss despite following the carnivore diet perfectly. Or, maybe it's your thyroid. Hypothyroidism has been linked to weight gain, so if you've recently gained weight and can't lose it, you should speak to your doctor.

At the end of the day, why you're not losing weight on the carnivore diet could come down to any number of things - some within your control and some outside of it. But don't give up just yet! With some strategic changes to your diet and/or lifestyle, you can make your weight loss goals more attainable. We'll provide some tips below...

How to Lose Weight on the Carnivore Diet: Additional Tips to Help You Shed Some Fat Fast

Our article offering carnivore diet tips and tricks for success is a great resource to help guide you through this journey. You'll learn how to do carnivore diet on a budget while still getting incredible results. But here are some pointers in the meantime:

  1. Get a solid 8 hours of sleep each night. Not getting enough rest can interfere with your body's natural weight-loss processes and make it harder for you to control cravings.
  2. Increase your protein intake slightly if you're not seeing results. Protein has been linked to increased fat burning and more satiety, so increasing your daily protein intake could be just the kickstart you need to see some progress on the scale again.
  3. Add some intermittent fasting into your routine. Intermittent fasting is an effective way to burn fat fast, as it forces your body to use existing energy stores (aka stored body fat).
  4. Start incorporating more physical activity into your life. Weight loss doesn't just come from dieting, but also from exercise. Even if it's something simple like 10 minutes of walking a day - any sort of movement will be more beneficial than none at all.

Other tips include drinking more water, coming up with healthier stress-coping strategies, and eliminating unhealthy snack choices. For many, the issue of failing to lose weight on the carnivore diet is a matter of failing to control cravings.

Our carnivore diet snack list can you help you fill your pantry, office drawers, or gym bag with approved foods to keep cravings at bay. You can't go wrong with Carnivore Snax meat snacks.

Not sure what meat snacks are? These are essentially meat pastries that melt in your mouth. With just two ingredients - meat and salt - they're sure to supercharge your weight loss efforts. Give them a try, we have a wide array of cuts to choose from for every carnivore out there - including beef chips, brisket chips, ribeye chips, steak chips, lamb chips, chicken chips, or pork chips.

Final Thoughts on Why You're Not Losing Weight on the Carnivore Diet

Finding success on the carnivore diet isn't as easy as some people make it out to be; in fact, there are several potential roadblocks that could prevent you from losing weight. The good news is that you now know how to lose weight on the carnivore diet. By addressing the potential issues that are holding you back, you should be able to get back on track and start seeing results again in no time - so don't give up just yet!

With the help of our meat chips, you can satisfy your cravings without getting in the way of your weight loss goals. And because we only source through regenerative farms, you can feel good about making an ethical snack choice. So what are you waiting for? Get yours today and kick your weight loss journey into gear.

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Why Am I Not Losing Weight on the Carnivore Diet? 5 Common Culprits (2024)


How come I'm not losing weight on a carnivore diet? ›

It could be as simple as time - you haven't been on the diet long enough. Or, maybe you're still in caloric surplus despite eating the right foods. It could even be that you're not drinking enough water, you're constipated from the new diet, you're stressed out - or some other unrelated cause.

Why didn't carnivore work for me? ›

On a low-carb diet, when you eat too much protein and not enough fat, your body turns the protein into blood sugar through a process called gluconeogenesis. This process interferes with fat metabolism, which can, in turn, limit weight loss.

Why am I getting fatter on the carnivore diet? ›

On a carnivore diet, while carbohydrate intake is minimal, the surplus of calories from fats and proteins can still stimulate insulin release and promote fat gain and consequently gain weight too. Balancing the diet to prevent persistent high insulin levels is beneficial for managing gaining weight.

How long does it take to start losing weight on the carnivore diet? ›

As Dr. Sean O'Mara pointed out, you can start to see the results after two weeks into the Carnivore diet, and the progress can continue until you reach your desired outcome. Generally, it can take 2-4 weeks for some individuals to see the results, and for others, 3-6 weeks or more.

What happens if you eat carbs on a carnivore diet? ›

Do the carnivore diet and carbohydrates mix well? Digestion problems can arise if you eat carbohydrates on the carnivore diet. This can result from a spike in blood sugar, which can cause heartburn, bloating, or nausea, affecting how food is digested.

How do you lose the most weight on a carnivore diet? ›

Increasing your protein intake and reducing your carb intake may help you lose weight. That said, the extremely high amounts of protein and complete elimination of carbs on the carnivore diet are not necessary to lose weight.

How long does it take to see benefits from a carnivore? ›

Steady Progress: Typical Timeline of Noticeable Changes. Once your body has adapted to the carnivore diet, you'll begin to notice more profound carnivore diet results around the 3-6 week mark. Weight loss can become apparent during this time, as your body continues to burn fat for energy.

What are 3 disadvantages of the carnivore diet? ›

Cons of the Carnivore Diet:
  • It's expensive (we all know how much the cost of meat has gone up)
  • It's restrictive.
  • It can cause health issues down the road.
  • Lack of fiber- bowel issues.
  • Lack of vitamins and minerals.
Nov 6, 2023

What happens if I don't eat enough fat on a carnivore diet? ›

Meeting your fat carnivore diet macro goals will protect you from protein poisoning. If you eat too much protein and not enough fat you will get protein poisoning. This condition occurs when your liver can no longer upregulate urea synthesis needed to metabolize protein.

How much fat should I eat per day on carnivore diet? ›

So, there you have it: the breakdown of carnivore diet macro ratios. In summary, around 70–80% fats, around 20–30% protein, and keep your carbs low for roughly 0–10%.

How much to eat on a carnivore diet to lose weight? ›

With the right amount of fat and protein, you can reach your body composition goals while enjoying delicious meals. If you are looking to lose weight, an ideal caloric intake is around 1,500-1,750 calories per day, deviating from the normal 2,000.

Why aren't I losing weight on carnivore? ›

If you've been consistent on carnivore but haven't seen weight loss results, it may be because you're receiving too much protein and not enough fat. The abundance of protein in your body can interfere with fat metabolism, limiting weight loss.

Why am I plateauing on a carnivore diet? ›

On the carnivore diet, individuals may inadvertently consume more calories than they expend, leading to a weight loss plateau. It's important to monitor not just habitual consumption but also the energy needs that decrease as one loses weight.

How long does it take for the gut to adjust to a carnivore diet? ›

The duration of the carnivore diet needed for gut healing is very patient-dependent. Some individuals will only need a month before they're able to reintroduce foods from the plant kingdom while others with severely impaired gut function and potential additional root causes may require several months or more.

Why am I barely pooping on the carnivore diet? ›

The reduction in fiber could be one reason why some people develop constipation when following the carnivore diet. People can help treat constipation by exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water, and setting aside a time and place to pass a stool each day.

Does the carnivore diet work for everyone? ›

Depending on your individual biology, a sustained low-carb plan like the carnivore diet might not work for you. You'll know this is true if you can't get a good night's sleep while you're limiting carbs. That's okay. Think of it as a red flag from your body that you need to adjust your carb intake.

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